The music album "Yasnaya Oktava" of the "Ahimsa Quintet" team, created during the experimental art project of Rostec, the memorial estate of L. N. Tolstoy and the Sygma platform, was published today on major music venues. The compositions are based on a collection of sounds, which the musicians gathered at the estate of the great writer in Yasnaya Polyana. The release date was not chosen by chance - 109 years ago, on November 20, 1910, Leo Tolstoy passed away.
The Yasnaya Oktava album was the final stage of a special project initiated by Rostec and the Yasnaya Polyana memorial estate this summer within the framework of the Tolstoy Theatre Festival presenting fresh ideas and images that our contemporaries find in the classic's heritage. To hear those sounds of Yasnaya Polyana, which we often do not notice, as music, to create a musical piece from the background of life — this is the idea of the Yasnaya Oktava Project. It belongs to the journalist, the Head of the Polka educational project Yuri Saprykin.
Musicians-participants of the Yasnaya Oktava Project were selected on a competitive basis. The quintet consists of music and sound producer Oleg Buyanov, sound producer and electronic musician Ivan Merkulov, composer and pianist Dmitry Ustinov; electronic musician Karina Kazaryan, ambient musician Dmitry Lyushakov. The Oktava electro-acoustic plant, which is the part of Rostec, became a partner of the Project, providing professional microphones of its production for recording.
"The Yasnaya Oktava Project is a vivid example of our basic principle of supporting cultural initiatives, which can be expressed in three words: technology, culture, and person. The combination of these three factors allowed revealing in a new way the atmosphere of the place where Tolstoy had lived, to express the spirit of the Yasnaya Polyana estate in music. With the help of the modern acoustic technology, the musicians recorded bird’s voices, striking of a XVIII century clock, floorboards creaking, and grand piano sound in the Tolstoy's House very accurately, clearly and dimensionally. The musicians turned this acoustic series into 12 unique compositions, presenting their creative vision of the genius's place," said Ekaterina Baranova, Rostec Communications Director.
Each track bears a name related to the Tolstoy's homeland - the Original Forest, Grain and Threshing Barn, Preshpekt (birch lane), Guseva Polyana, the Kuzminskiy wing, Chepyizh (oak wood). All compositions are composed of sounds recorded in these locations.
"Already during Tolstoy's lifetime Yasnaya Polyana became the center of culture: musicians, writers, artists came here. Music always sounded in the estate. In this Project, we were interested in continuing the existing traditions and inviting modern musicians. The partnership with the State Corporation Rostec and its part, the Oktava electro-acoustics plant in Tula, made it possible to combine heritage and technology," said Ekaterina Tolstaya, Director of the Yasnaya Polyana memorial estate.
Members of the musical residence in the memorial estate of L. N. Tolstoy first worked together in the framework of the Yasnaya Oktava Project, so the name of the quintet appeared after the completion of the work in the residence. "Ahimsa" in Sanskrit means non-violence towards all living beings; the idea of non-violence and non-resistance to evil by violence was central to Leo Tolstoy's worldview.
"The most difficult thing with the Project was to come up with what could be the connecting element around which the final record could be built. We thought about it for a long time, re-read Tolstoy, exchanged quotes that seemed relevant to us, discussed his texts," says composer and musician Dmitry Ustinov. "We were very impressed by Tolstoy's late philosophy, associated with the search for the meaning of life, adoption of the "simple life". Before that, he had been a society man. So I suggested focusing on the theme of this transition, the break in his worldview and doing something on the border of modern electronics and Stockhausen's avant-garde," says musician Karina Ghazaryan.
For the recording, the "headliner" of the Oktava product line was used — MK-012 condenser microphone. It has a compact size and the ability to transmit accurately sound, to capture its important nuances. These microphones are available in different configurations: with a narrowly directional inset - for sound segmentation and with a circular inset allowing you to collect the maximum palette of ambient sounds, all the way to the softest rustle.
You can choose a venue and listen to the album on the website https://onerpm.ru/yasnayaoktava#.